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Hope City Board

By Mark Keith, 10/18/22 8:48 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday for their second meeting of October.  Following the prayer and pledge, the board moved into the agenda items.

The board considered applying for funds from the Arkansas Natural Resources Division.  The city heard that the two main projects needed were a holding pond overflow treatment and dredging for just under $3.5 million and UV disinfection at the East Plant for $497,000.  Local match on the first project would be $872,000 and $124,000 for the second. Engineer Glen Spears spoke to the board about the projects.  It was noted due to a lack of volume in the west holding pond, probably a one-inch rain will cause an overflow.  The sludge that would be dredged has filled about a third of the ponds.  The board approved the applying for the funds.  The board has tentatively identified funding their share through a bond issue.

The board looked at masters services agreement and work order from Garver Engineers.  The work order is for drainage work at the airport.  The board heard from a representative of Garver.  The drainage/RSA project would be funded 90% by FAA and 10% by Arkansas Aeronautics.  The board voted to sign the master services agreement and the work order for the drainage work.

The board looked at some changes to the city’s employee handbook.  Assistant City Manager J.R. Wilson spoke to the board and answered questions.  The changes were approved and will go into effect in January 2023.

The board considered an ordinance to increase police officers’ accrual of sick leave from 720 hours to 1,040 hours.  City Attorney Randy Wright read the ordinance and it was approved.

The board approved an ordinance setting the city’s real and personal property tax rates.  There was no increase from the previous year’s rate of 5 mills.  Last year these taxes raised about $420,000.

The board approved an ordinance that sets the firemen’s pension millage at 1 mill.  This is the old fund which funds pensions of 11 retirees or spouses of retired firemen..

The board looked at a rezoning at 1207 Midland from R-2 to R-5.  This would allow a manufactured home to be placed on the lot.  The Planning & Zoning Commission has approved this request.  The board approved an ordinance which would allow the change.

The board looked at the city revenue and expenditures for January through September of this year.  Catherine Cook explained several changes such as a new rental deposit category for rental fees on city property.  City Manager Catherine Cook said revenue and expenses were pretty much in line.  She noted state turnback is down because our population went down.  The city finance director answered questions.

Under the City Manager’s Report, Catherine Cook noted the 6th Street contractor should be in soon.. The board got an update on the Street Scape project.  The board heard that the sign at the HUB should be completed by the end of next week.  Cook noted she’s been working with the city’s search firm in reference to materials needed for the search for a new City Manager.

Mark Ross noted citizens have been asking about getting sidewalks from Hazel to the Post Office.  The board discussed the options for the old FEMA structures at the airport.  Mayor Still noted the board hasn’t done a tour of city facilities this fall as they normally do.

Under Citizens Requests Hazel Simpson invited the board to tour the Yerger Museum.  The meeting then adjourned.